Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Volunteering with Emma

By Emma H. 

It is a beautiful cloudy morning as I arrive at the Sanctuary to do my volunteer work, the birds are singing and the air smells of eucalyptus. 

My first job of the day is to collect fresh branches for the possums and birds from the forest area of Possum Valley. As I wander through the trees I spot something moving in the distance, a mob of 6 kangaroos are out foraging! What a treat to see. 

Now on to my favourite part, seeing my possum and bird friends. The old branches need to be taken out to make way for the fresh ones. As I start to make some noise, Blossom pokes her head out of her box to investigate the ruckus. I offer her a tasty bottlebrush flower which she gobbles up happily. Next is to sweep the floors and change the water. 

I visit Simpson the magpie, Bernard the bandicoot, and Pinkie the parrot for their weekly clean too. Bernard and Simpson love some fresh dirt to scavenge some tasty bugs from, and Pinkie loves some native flowers like the possums. 

Walter the possum is my final clean of the day, he is usually sleeping just above the doorway. He is such a laid back and relaxed little guy. 

Now before I leave, it is time to visit the donkeys, lambs and anyone else who would like a scratch! Now to head home, knowing that everyone is happy and clean.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020


By Chris R.

During the summer months, we began to have tea on the deck, making the most of the cool night air. One night, while soaking in the silence of the Valley close to midnight, an unfamiliar scuffling was heard in the wisteria overhanging the outdoor table. Close inspection revealed a surprised set of large eyes in the darkness – a male brushtail possum had decided to invite himself to our meal.  He was bright and curious and appeared to be mesmerised by our bowls of two minute noodles – a sanctuary staple after evening feed shifts.  

Due to their highly territorial nature, we work hard to return possums to their local range once reared or recovered, if the area is deemed safe. This fellow didn’t look familiar and it had been over two years since a male possum had been released in the Valley. We weren’t sure who he was, but the big fluffy fellow seemed to think we looked familiar, taking up a chair and looking longingly at our plates of food. 

The following evening we had guests visit the Valley for a barbecue. While organising drinks in the kitchen, a loud bang was heard as cutlery was disrupted and a bag of bread rolls was dragged into the garden. Our evening visitor, now affectionately named Merlin, had decided that he, too, wanted to share dinner treats on the deck.

Merlin’s visits have since become regular.  Each evening, we leave a small bowl of healthy possum treats on the table for his midnight snacking. To ensure he doesn’t become dependent on our offerings, only a small portion is provided, but it is lovely to see him settled and relaxed in his safe territory near the house. Living with wildlife is a privilege and we never take for granted that these beautiful animals are happy to share their homes with us.